The World Health Organization (WHO) has issued a stark warning that despite increasing case numbers, it may have to scale back its response to the Ebola outbreak in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) amid funding shortfalls.
As of April 30, 1,466 cases had been reported in the DRC, with 957 deaths. The number of healthcare workers affected is 92, including 33 deaths.
Last week, WHO Director-General Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus and WHO Regional Director for Africa Dr Matshidiso Moeti visited Butembo where WHO epidemiologist Dr Richard Mouzoko was killed by armed men on April 19.
Speaking after the visit, Dr Tedros said he was “profoundly worried about the situation” and that while most Ebola response activities had been re-launched following a slowdown in the wake of the attack that left Dr Mouzoko dead, resources are seriously strained.
The WHO warned just half of the currently requested funds have been received, which could lead to WHO and partners rolling back some activities.
“We are entering a phase where we will need major shifts in the response,” said Dr Tedros. "WHO and partners cannot tackle these challenges without the international community stepping in to fill the sizeable funding gap.”